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How to Put Together a Modeling Portfolio

How to Put Together a Modeling Portfolio

Are you ready to become a model? Here are some great tips to get you started:

Putting together a modeling portfolio allows you to easily present your modeling photographs to potential clients. Your modeling portfolio should include a collection of photographs that show you in your best looks.

Modeling agencies usually have a set way they like a modeling portfolio to be arranged. This differs by agency, but you can put together a modeling portfolio separate from your agency portfolio or just for your own use if you are not represented by a modeling agency.

Keep the following in mind when putting together your own modeling portfolio.

  • Buy a 9″x12″ or 11″x14″ simple black portfolio book for displaying your photographs. Portfolio books can be found at any art supply or photography store. Make sure you get a portfolio book and not a picture album. There is a big difference. A black portfolio book that zips shut and has two black handles is perfect.
  • The quality of the photographs in your portfolio is more important than having a large number of photographs in your portfolio. If you have three really great pictures, they will make for a better portfolio than using fifty not so great ones. More is not always better. Go for quality.
  • Larger pictures of 9″x12″ or 11″x14″ are better than smaller sizes. Large pictures are industry standard for portfolio use and give clients a better image when considering you for a modeling job.
  • Go for variety when possible. Don’t put ten photographs of you with the same background in your portfolio. You need to show your versatility in your modeling portfolio. Avoid using multiple photographs from the same photo shoot or wearing the same outfit.
  • Choose photographs that show you from different angles and different shots. When possible, try to include at least one head shot, one profile, one three quarter shot, one body shot ,etc.
  • Show photographs with you dressed in different styles. For example, when possible strive for a swimsuit shot, a conservative businessperson shot, a catalog modeling type shot, an action shot, a «character» shot, a commercial product shot, and more.
  • As you age, remember to take out your younger pictures and replace them with current pictures. As much as models hate it, we all age. Having a modeling portfolio full of pictures from ten years ago will not do much to help your career today.
  • Make a good first and last impression by putting your best photographs at the beginning and end of your modeling portfolio. All of your photographs should be good, but put your favorites first and last.
  • Unless you are selling jewelry or the jewelry is important to the photograph, avoid too much jewelry in at least one of your headshots. This gives your potential clients a photograph where you are the focus, not the jewelry.
  • Try to include at least one black and white photograph in your modeling portfolio. Color photographs are most prevalent today, but a black and white photograph will add something special.
  • Consider including a resume of your professional modeling assignments as part of your modeling portfolio.

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